A recipe for happiness | review review
Up close with Dr. E
Whether I like it or not, I’m in the happiness business.
Meet Mrs. B: “Dr. Elghammer, my daughter is sad and depressed. Her boyfriend got angry and hit her. His black eye has healed, but his heart is still throbbing in pain.
Meet Mr. A: “I’m not sure I want to live anymore. My wife has decided, after 21 years of marriage, that she is no longer in love with me.
Meet Cleo: “Five failed marriages. The first took me away from my violent father. The second took me away from the first. Numbers 3 and 4, well, the leopards don’t change places – both were abusive. The fifth was the real thing. I was in love with Marc Anthony. Beautiful, rich, powerful. But Marc only loved one thing, himself. What am I doing wrong in my relationships? »
Every working day, I see children, families, teenagers, couples — only on rare occasions do I have the joy of meeting cats and dogs, or turtles and mice; kids sometimes sneak into a pet… Sorry, where were we?
Although I would like to approach my craft as a carpenter – sketching the project, buying wood, sawing and building – my work requires the exhausting task of thinking. Why so much thought? Each patient I see is unique and the emotional wounds they carry are invisible. So, do you think it’s a good idea if I put in place a formula to help my patients find happiness? Ok I will try.
My mother taught me how to cook, and by the age of 12 I had mastered many culinary achievements. When I was 16, she gave me the book “The Joy of Cooking”. Using his teachings, I will give you “La Joie de Vivre”.
Recipe 1: Happiness
Happiness has four basic ingredients.
1. To be happy, you must first be alive. Pinch yourself. “Ouch” is proof that you are alive.
2. Awareness. If you are not aware of the gifts life has given you, you cannot be happy. Because outreach is such a tricky concept, I enlisted Cleo’s help (yes, you’ve met her before, five marriages ago).
3. Uncontaminated belief systems. Happiness is a seed capable of
growing, but only if planted in soil not contaminated with poison. Is your soil (your mind) free of poison (negative beliefs about yourself)? Do this to find out: Think of a close friend and examine how you treat them. Are you kind, generous and ready to help them? Now compare the way you treat your friend with the way you treat yourself. Are they equal? If not, you probably have negative beliefs such as “I’m too scared to allow anyone near me – they always leave or hurt me”.
4. Happiness is a by-product created by the relationships forged in life. Relationships come in many shapes and sizes: family, friendship, spiritual, natural. The deeper your relationships, the deeper your sense of well-being.
Cleo arrives in Chicago. “Now I would like to introduce you to Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile, who traveled from 40 BC in Egypt to 2012, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Bloomingdale’s Mall.” She is petite, pixie-like, 5-foot-2, with shiny raven hair, emerald eyes, and a striking body.
“Please call me Cleo. As you can see from my shopping bags, I love Chicago! But I’m curious. This movie I bought called “Cleopatra” has Richard Burton playing Marc Antony. Richard Burton is not my type. Also, this song I bought, “Walk Like an Egyptian”. Egyptians don’t walk like that, and what about all the mummy movies? »
“But let’s be serious. First, I am 16 years old. If I live to be 32, I’m considered old. However, you have a life expectancy of 85 years. You live 50 years longer than me. Isn’t it a gift? Second, my fastest horse goes 37 mph. Your planes are going at 2,000 mph. Third, if I break my leg or get sick, I could easily die. You can get new legs, new hearts, and medicine to heal yourself. Another gift.
A member of the crowd asked Cleo, “If you had all of our 21st century gifts, would that make you happy?” “No,” Cleo replied. “For me to be happy, I have to discover why I am unable to form deep relationships. Because without anyone to share my life with, I am alone and unsatisfied.
Conclusion: Cleopatra will eventually be diagnosed with a personality disorder, which destroyed her relationships. More to come on personality disorders next week.
The content of this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional treatment. The characters in this story are not real. Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.
Dr. Richard Elghammer contributes his weekly column to the Journal Review.